Local water utilities worried about getting hit with lawsuits and high cleanup costs are stepping up their lobbying of Congress as lawmakers move to regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water. The bill, the PFAS Action Act of 2021, has garnered bipartisan support and two Michigan lawmakers, U.S. Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) and Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph), are expected to bring the measure to the House floor for passage later this week.
EPA Administrator Michael Regan, a former top environmental official in North Carolina, said the agency is currently in the process of regulating two of the most studied types of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in drinking water. Two Michigan Democrats, U.S. Reps. Debbie Dingell of Dearborn and Dan Kildee of Flint, added that House Democratic leaders will bring the PFAS Action Act of 2021, which aims to reduce Americans’ exposure to the toxic chemicals in air, water and consumer products, to a floor vote next week.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2011 knew that chemicals used in fracking fluid can break down and form PFAS — potentially contaminating groundwater and drinking water — but approved them anyway, even though agency scientists acknowledged they could be toxic.
On Thursday, April 15, members of a U.S. House Natural Resources panel agreed on the need to clean up and cap abandoned oil and gas wells, but disagreed along party lines about the extent of the federal government’s role in well regulation.
The COVID-19 vaccine could be less effective in people with high levels of perfluorinated compounds — PFAS — in their blood, several scientists said.